Southwest customer service union scores ‘historic’ wage deal

Customer service employees at Southwest Airlines have voted to overwhelmingly ratify a collective bargaining agreement with wage increases that they claim will place its them at the top of the US airline industry’s pay scale.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest air transport union, struck the five-year collective bargaining agreement that gives its members a 13.1% wage increase from the current wage on the date of ratification and a 25.1% general wage increase over four years. The IAM represents approximately 8,300 customer service employees at Southwest Airlines.

“IAM members at Southwest Airlines stood together in solidarity to get the best deal in the airline industry,” said IAM air transport union leader Richie Johnsen. “We were focused on securing an agreement that would make our members at Southwest Airlines the highest-paid workers in the airline industry. Ratifying this historic deal was good for our members and the customers who trust and fly Southwest Airlines.”

The goal of the IAM negotiating team and membership was to get a deal that would garner the dignity and respect our members at Southwest Airlines deserve,” said IAM airline coordinator Tom Regan. “This agreement puts our members at the top of the industry and creates a career path for the new members joining the IAM and Southwest Airlines.”

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